Research Spotlight: Police Officer Use of Force and Citizen Complaints

While competing narratives have taken shape in American society little is known as to how officers choose to use force in situations and if there is any racial or gender bias during police encounters that amount in heightened levels of force used. To study this subject more meticulously I analyze citizen complaint outcomes for police use of force from two cities: Indianapolis and New Orleans. Analyzing citizen complaint data from these two cities serves several purposes.

Reproduction Matters

Every January 1st, local news outlets feature joyous accounts of the first babies born in the new year—a tradition that highlights auspicious beginnings. But throughout the year, few topics capture headlines as frequently as those related to reproduction. On any given day, a glance at the front page of a major newspaper or online source…

Social Science Scholar: Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts in the U.S.

After graduation, I hope to pursue a joint degree in law and public health with a focus on human trafficking. My summer experiences expanded my knowledge, reinforced my passion, and sharpened my technical skills. The development work I did at LCHT can be applied to other areas within the nonprofit field because all nonprofits need funding for their work. In addition, the leadership development program at LCHT provided me with tools for self-care to prevent burnout in a field with such a high turnover. In addition, my research skills and findings from Minnesota will not only strengthen my honors thesis but also contribute to anti-trafficking recommendations in Florida. I am grateful to the Social Science Scholars program for the funding and inspiration to undertake my summer projects.

Social Science Scholar: Off the Street Club

This summer was remarkable. Post-graduation, I plan on returning to Chicago to work for the company that I interned with as an Art Director and also working with Off the Street Club or a nonprofit that works with youth in the Chicago areas. I am forever indebted to the Social Science Scholar program and donors who made this summer a possibility. None of this would have been possible if it had not been for Dr. Tom Taylor and Dr. John Mayo and the entire College of Social Sciences & Public Policy for supporting the summer of a lifetime.

Social Science Scholar: The Effects of Amendment 4

The Social Science Scholars program has given me an opportunity as an undergraduate to release my own survey on a statewide level. As someone whose father recently was given the right to vote because of Amendment 4, having the opportunity to study its impact on the black community further is an enormous privilege. Helping him become more politically active has meant giving him his voice back, and being able to understand how Amendment 4 could empower larger groups of people is an extension of that. Because of the Social Science Scholars program, I have been given the tools to study a complex issue, and study it in a way that will empower my community. If a connection can be found between Amendment 4 and attitudes towards voting, a path for increasing black political participation as a whole can be found.

Disinformation about School Shootings on Twitter: Why Does It Happen? What Kind of Information is Shared? Does it Matter?

All of this has implications for democracy. While disinformation and polemics may stimulate a broader public conversation about social concerns such as gun violence, the relative incivility of these narratives which included polemics and insults are unlikely to increase users’ tolerance to individuals’ championing opposing perspectives—which is an important precursor to consensus-building . Conversely, fact-based narratives, particularly those discussing May’s mental health, could assist in consensus-building regarding health care in America. Even the personal narratives shared by students may help those holding opposing points of view regarding issues such as gun control better understand one another insofar as these stories can help individuals find areas of unanticipated agreement. Disinformation, in short, is bad for political conversation, political debate and deliberative processes.

Social Science Scholar: Lex Legal Fellowship 2019 in Madrid, Spain

This past summer, I worked on two different projects through Social Science Scholars. During the initial part of the summer, I worked on my Honors Thesis and IDEA grant research project in the region of Catalonia focused on the region’s declaration of independence. On the latter half of the summer, I became a Lex fellow…

Social Science Scholar: Michigan Department of State

My internship and broader experience within the Social Science Scholars program helped me gain a clearer focus on my plans post-graduation. I have decided to use my fourth and final year as an undergraduate at Florida State to fulfill requirements for dual degrees in Political Science and Spanish. I already intended to pursue a graduate degree, but some of my conversations with executive staff during my internship led me to reconsider my program of study, and to shift away from political science and toward data science. My ultimate goal is to work in either state or federal government, or as a researcher at a think tank, and to be able to use both my political science background and my data science skills to craft robust, empirically-derived public policy.